Email 415: Getting HIV from Pedicure?

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 7:11 AM

Hi Pozziepinoy.

Can we get HIV through pedicure?




Than you for your email and reading this blog.

Small, bleeding cuts acquired during the pedicure may THEORETICALLY expose you to HIV infection.  However, the HIV virus is very fragile, and it doesn't survive for very long once it is exposed to the air.  The odds of catching HIV this way would be insignificant, unless there is fresh blood on the instruments. This is very unlikely as they would have been wiped clean at the very least, even if they aren't autoclaved or irradiated to sterilize them.  HIV lasts for just minutes at the most once exposed to the air.  It is a THEORETICAL risk but there has never been a case reported and I would consider the possibility THEORETICAL in the same way that you could THEORETICALLY get hit by a piece of falling space junk as soon as you walked out your door in the morning.  It is not a realistic possibility.

Other infectious diseases like Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are more robust and can survive in an infectious state for longer, so it is possible to contract those diseases from contaminated instruments.  Some instruments used in manicures and pedicures, such as razors, are so cheap that they can be treated as single-use disposables. You can buy and bring razors and other disposables, or ask your provider to take them out of sealed packages in front of you.  If you are not sure that your provider has sterilized all reused instruments, stay way.  Do it yourself at home, or go to another provider.

I hope you have found this response helpful.

Dear readers, as always get tested, stay healthy, and if you’re on ARV, compliant with your ARV regimen.

Malcolm Brown.
International Contributor


NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"


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